For the most part, the First Annual Canterlot Omni-Fandom Convention was a success.
Twilight Sparkle smiled to herself as she watched the goings-on on the dealer's room floor. It hadn't been easy to organize such a large event in such a relatively short amount of time, but it was worth it to see the enthusiastic smiles of fans both young and old as they talked about their passions, or discovered new ones.
Twilight had reached out to every possible fan club, every publisher, and every author she could get ahold of in order to make the appeal of the Convention as broad as possible. There were vendors, panels, and no less than six different strategy game tournaments. Daring Do cosplayers rubbed shoulders with fans dressed like the Power Ponies (which would make for an interesting if terribly non-canonical crossover, Twilight mused), while a little colt and filly a little ways behind them debated which of them would win in a fight. Authors, artists, craftsmares and collectors had all set up little folding tables loaded with their wares-- and by the look of it, most everypony was doing brisk business. Even some of Twilight's friends had gotten into the act: Applejack kept a steady flow of sugary apple-based pastries flowing to fuel the hungry masses, while Rarity had gone on a tear about something she called 'cosplay couture.'
Twilight trotted through the crowd, most of whom were so absorbed in their own fannish enthusiasm that they barely noticed a princess walking among them. Not that Twilight could blame them-- sure, she had saved the whole of Equestria (if not the whole of reality) several times by now, but could that really compare with the amount of joy an author like A.K. Yearling could bring to the world? It's not like anybody was writing fanfiction about her, after all. (If they did, Twilight realized, she wouldn't want to read it anyway for any number of reasons).
“Twilight!” Rainbow Dash swooped in front of her friend and nearly crashed into the ground, sides heaving from exhaustion. “We have a problem!”
“For the last time, Rainbow, I'm not going to judge a trivia contest between you and Quibble Pants.”
“No, not that!” Rainbow's voice cracked. “This is important. Weird important.”
“I … I really don't know. Which is why I'm asking you! You've gotta help!”
Twilight furrowed her brow, but nodded. “Alright then, what's wrong?”
“Just follow me. And quick!” Rainbow Dash took off again, and Twilight leapt into the air, beating her wings as fast as she could to keep up. They soared over the dealer room floor, over the artist's alley, and over to the side of the dealer room devoted to various genre authors and publishers. Rainbow led on to one of the farthest corner tables, one that Twilight didn't remember assigning a vendor too. A small crowd had gathered-- though less out of interest, and more with the air of those gawking at small but no less impressive catastrophe.
Twilight landed at the back of the crowd, and pushed her way through as politely as she could-- though once the ponies recognized Princess Twilight Sparkle, Repeated Savior of Equestria, they made way, allowing Twilight to get a good look at the table--
--and the human sitting behind it.
At least, she thought it was a human. The bipedal proportions were all there, along with the telltale five-fingered hands. Any further detail was obscured by its clothing, however-- it wore a vaguely martial-art-looking white tunic, tied with a white belt, along with a shapeless sack with holes cut out in it to create an impromptu mask. 'PLEASE RESPECT MY PRIVACY AS A DOCTOR' was scrawled crudely across the mask, and a pair of sunglasses completed the bizarre disguise. Several stacks of books sat on the table in front of the disguised doctor, and a large banner had been set up behind him.
HUGO NOMINATED AUTHOR DR. CHUCK TINGLE
“Um. Hello?” Twilight said.
“hello!” The figure waved, cheery.
“My name is Twilight Sparkle.” She stepped forward at a little nudge from Rainbow Dash. “What's yours?” She asked for lack of any better ideas.
“my name is DR. CHUCK TINGLE hugo nominated author of such books as Space Raptor Butt Invasion and Pounded in the Butt By My Own Butt and My Ass Is Haunted By the Gay Unicorn Colonel.” Dr. Chuck Tingle waved one hand over the piles upon piles of books on his table. “i have written many more important Tinglers because I am best the best author in the world. i heard you were having a BOOK PARTY in this timeline so i decided to come and say hi”
“Why does he talk like that?” Rainbow Dash murmured to Twilight.
“I ... I have no idea.” Twilight said, baffled. Even Discord had made sense, in his own strange way. “Maybe he's from somewhere that hasn't invented proper spelling or capitalization yet.”
“Weeeeird.” Rainbow Dash said. “Do you think he's ... you know, human? That's ... that's not what everypony looks like in that Sunset Shimmer dimension, is it?” Rainbow Dash shuddered with horror.
“He's not from the other side of the mirror portal, I can tell you that much.” Twilight asided, and then turned back to Dr. Chuck Tingle. “Um. Where are you from, Doctor?”
The masked man sat up a little straighter, and his lips (visible through a hole in his mask) split in a genuine smile. “when i was a little buckaroo i grew up in HOME OF TRUTH UTAH but that was a long time ago now i live in BILLINGS MONTANA which is an important place with many handsome dinosaurs.”
“Uh. Kay.” Twilight said. “And you've come all the way to Equestria?”
“traveling through the infinite void between timelines is very dangerous because of many monsters like VOID CRABS and DEVILMAN SCOUNDRELS but i am glad i came because it is very nice here and there are helpful ladybucks who bring me chocolate milk.”
“Want another one?” Pinkie Pie materialized with a fresh carton.
“thank you very much. please do not tell handsome son (name of jon) i am drinking this much chocolate milk because sometimes he gets mad when i have more than three glasses before bed.”
“Kay!” Pinkie Pie said, and poured a cold glass of chocolate milk, which Dr. Chuck Tingle pounded back with no small degree of enthusiasm. He set the empty glass on the table, and swayed slightly, as if intoxicated.
“Is this guy for real?” Rainbow Dash's earlier horror turned more to bafflement.
“that is a question i have asked myself many times,” said Dr. Chuck Tingle, “sometimes i get scared that i am really a computer program or i am my own REVERSE TWIN or maybe if i am really just someone who bought some sunglasses from a SECRET DEVILMAN who used DARK MAGIC to make a CLONE CHUCK to send into the endless void of existential terrors. but then i realized it doesnt matter if i am REAL CHUCK or CLONE CHUCK as long as i still have my own UNIQUE WAY.”
“Celestia help me, that almost made sense.” Twilight rubbed at the bridge of her nose.
“Really?” Rainbow Dash said.
“To be fair, I'm operating on like four hours of sleep here.” Twilight sighed, and found herself wishing for a coffee. To her credit, Pinkie Pie popped out of the crowd a few moments later with a steaming mug, which Twilight took gratefully. Bleary-eyed, she sipped at her drink, and then edged closer to Dr. Chuck Tingle's table. “So, um, Doctor--”
“you can call me CHUCK if you want.”
“As much as we appreciate an author from another dimension, I'm not sure if your books are exactly ... appropriate. “ Twilight's eyes fell to one of the titles on display: Unicorn Butt Cop Beach Patrol. She managed to keep her curious hoof from picking the book up. If barely. “This is a family event, after all.”
“oh i am sorry miss princess i will fix this.” Dr. Chuck Tingle proceeded to duck beneath his table, and then pulled out a large sign which he propped next to his other books.
At that, the crowd relaxed a bit-- at which point those with younger children quickly bustled them away, hooves over eyes. However, most ponies without children stayed, albeit with more than a few guilty, curious grins amongst them. They edged closer to Dr. Chuck Tingle's table, and then began to leaf through the near-endless numbers of Tinglers on display. Soon enough, bits were exchanged, and a brisk trade in Dr. Chuck Tingle's erotica began to get underway. Understandably, his many unicorn-based titles were the most popular, though some adventurous ponies opted for sexy tales of dinosaurs or bigfoots or even handsome sentient objects (of which there were several).
“see all better now. my tinglers are probably not for young bucks but there are many books here for all people which is a good way.”
“Of all the weird stuff I've seen, this has got to be the weirdest.” Rainbow Dash mused, even as she eyeballed a copy of Top Horn Turned Gay By the Unicorn Pilots. “Seriously, who goes all the way to another dimension just to sell porn?”
“i just like to tell stories about how LOVE IS REAL. i will always write to prove love even when buckaroos are not reading. because sometimes devils say “WELL if we let two buckaroos kiss then what about a plane and a buckaroo or a handsome chair and a buckaroo?” Dr. Chuck Tingle slammed a hand down onto his table, hard enough to make the towers of books wobble. “GUESS WHAT BUD THATS A OK anyone who wants to kiss each other can do this even if they are a plane or a tree and tinglers prove that if this happens it will still be a wonderful world probably even more wonderful because everyones getting hard and trotting cutely.”
“I'm ... not sure what half of that meant but it sounded good?” Rainbow Dash said.
“You know, for a bizarre otherdimensional anomaly, he's surprisingly positive.” Twilight mused.
“i try very hard to be the best me i can. sometimes it is very hard because everyone rides the LONESOME TRAIN sometimes. lucky me today is not that day because your timeline is very nice and very good at proving love. also there are many handsome unicorns with great abs so that is a bonus.”
“Uh. Thanks?” Twilight glanced down at her own, decidedly unsculpted midsection. “I've never really considered ... “
“oh i am sorry MISS PRINCESS TWILIGHT i did not mean to give the wrong impression. you are a very nice pony ladybuck but i am more interested in horseplay with HARD BUDS like your friend in the back.”
“Hey!” Rainbow Dash squeaked. “I know I've got a rad haircut, but that doesn't mean I'm a dude--”
“i meant your friend there.” Dr. Chuck Tingle nodded his head towards a point somewhere behind Rainbow Dash and Twilight-- they turned, and sure enough, there was a tall, square-jawed, impeccably dressed unicorn. Twilight's jaw dropped, as she had no earthly idea what could've brought Prince Blueblood to something so pedestrian as the First Annual Canterlot Omni-Fandom Convention. But sure enough, he was there. Staring at Dr. Chuck Tingle.
Dr. Chuck Tingle stood, drained one last glass of chocolate milk for courage, and then walked over to the unicorn prince. He leaned in close, and the two exchanged a few brief, private words ... but whatever they were, they were enough. Within moments, Dr. Chuck Tingle and Prince Blueblood hurried into a nearby janitor's closet, and slammed the door behind them. Within a few moments more, a heavy, rhythmic thumping started emanating from within.
“Guess that's why he wrote all that unicorn porno.” Rainbow Dash said.
“Technically, the term is 'erotica.'” Twilight said, mostly by reflex. “You know, since it's written.”
“Whatever.” Rainbow Dash shook her head, forcing herself to look away from the closed janitor door. “You don't think that's why Blueblood and Rarity didn't hit it off, do you?”
Twilight blinked. “Because he's--”
“Into humans? I know, right? Bleh. I mean ... they've only got the two legs! How would doing it even work?”
“Now now, Rainbow. That's not the kind of attitude that Dr. Chuck Tingle would want you to have. He'd want you to keep an open attitude.” Twilight Sparkle mulled this over, and looked down at the array of Tinglers still left on the table. “In fact, I think he's taught us a valuable friendship lesson ... here, Rainbow, help me find a pen.”
Princess Celestia looked up from her letter, and over at Discord.
Back to the letter.
Then to Discord.
“This is your fault, isn't it?”
“Oh, I wish!”